Marriage is Not a Social Convention

In a Web Exclusive article today, I elaborate problems that I see in Amoris Laetitia. Here on First Thoughts, I want to discuss the parts of Amoris Laetitia that are especially helpful for an engaged couple. The document offers an excellent diagnosis of why marriage can be difficult in our time: . . . . Continue Reading »

Amoris Laetitia and the Words of Christ

The first paragraph of Amoris Laetitia states that “the desire to marry and form a family remains vibrant, especially among young people.” Throughout my engagement, however, my desire to marry has sometimes been less than vibrant. To paraphrase my archbishop Cardinal O’Malley, I long for . . . . Continue Reading »

The Pacifist Temptation

A few days after the Vatican unveiled Amoris Laetitia, the Pope’s impressive exhortation on families in the contemporary world, it hosted another event—one much less worthy of praise.The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, along with Pax Christi (an international Catholic peace movement), . . . . Continue Reading »

Amoris Laetitia from Where I Stand

Philip Larkin lamented that whether or not anybody refills your drink at a party “seems to turn on where you are. Or who.” In our divided Catholic Church, pastoral care is a lot like Larkin's cocktails. Catholics who sincerely desire to submit themselves to the Church they love come to their . . . . Continue Reading »

The Best Nuncio We’ve Had Thus Far

The announcement that Archbishop Christoph Pierre will succeed Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò as Apostolic Nuncio to the United States is an opportunity to pay tribute to a courageous churchman who has served Catholicism, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis in an exemplary way during his tenure in . . . . Continue Reading »

Why Amoris Laetitia Wouldn't Have Helped Me

Like waves breaking on rock, polishing and shaping by force, the Catholic faith sands and sculpts my being. The day my soul became Catholic was the day I found out that as a divorced and remarried woman I could not receive Communion. “Truth enlightens man's intelligence and shapes his freedom,” . . . . Continue Reading »

On Sex Without Deliberate Consent

In his recent Apostolic Exhortation, the Holy Father puts a question mark in the margin of the following teaching of Pope Saint John Paul II: “The Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. . . . . Continue Reading »